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Virgin America: Free Gourmet Ice Cream and New Menu

ice cream Virgin AmericaEditor’s Note: Airline food has a notoriously bad reputation. So when we heard that Virgin America, the airline famous for doing things differently, had created some seriously gourmet ice cream for everyone and a new, uber-fresh menu (for first class passengers), we just had to spread the news. – BH

Ever on the hunt for something new, Virgin America held a contest in February to choose its signature ice cream. Not your daddy’s rocky road, but three unique creations by San Francisco ice cream maker, Humphry (cq) Slocombe, which has serious cred for inventive flavors.

grilled chicken with vegetables in a dish

Roasted chicken with apple fig compote is one of the new dishes for first class passengers debuting on Virgin America. Photo Virgin America.

These are the guys who combined bourbon and cornflakes in something they call Secret Breakfast. Yes, it’s an ice cream. And, it’s wildly popular.

So for Virgin America, the company concocted:

#ButterByMoodlight – brown buttery ice cream and blueberry glaze.

Plate with protein-rich foods

The new protein plate features Coconut-mango farro pudding, edamame hummus, boiled egg, grapes, mini pita breads, cheeses and more. Photo by Virgin America

#RedHotBanana – banana ice cream with real Red Hot candies mashed into it for a cinnamon note.

#CoconutBlondAmbition – vanilla marshmallow fluff meets lemon and coconut.

Virgin America has tallied the results of the contest and #ButterByMoonlight came in first place, so it will be the ice cream of choice served on-board.

While #ButterByMoonlight was also my first choice, you might want to try the other flavors too. Free ice cream awaits anyone with a Virgin America boarding pass (keep that sucker) at Humphry Slocombe’s two San Francisco shops (located in the Ferry Building and on Harrison Street in the Mission) any time from Mar. 4 through June 30.

Ice Cream and Gourmet Choices

Virgin America luxury seating

On Virgin America coast-to-coast first class flights, passengers get on-demand massage. Photo by Virgin America.

Meanwhile, those fortunate souls flying Virgin America first class cross country, get not only the winning ice cream (which is featured eastbound), but a new menu and the kind of linen tablecloth and hot towel service you usually only see on international flights. Plus they get large, wide, white leather seats that come with lumbar massage.

Picturing a six hour back massage on demand, one can understand why Virgin America has won “Best US Business/First Class” award by Conde Nast Traveler for the past six years.

soba noodles are served in first class on Virgin America

Who doesn’t love soba noodles? They’re part of the new, first class menu. Photo Virgin America.

And, the new menu?

Among other goodies are an hors d’oeuvre of roasted tomato, marinated artichoke heart, olive and mozarella skewer plus warm mixed nuts. Additionally, first classers get a choice of two appetizers and three entrees (varying by route) that include roasted chicken breast with apple fig compote, a hummus, egg, nuts protein plate and tomato bisque soup with turkey prosciutto sandwich. Where can I sign up? —by Yvette Cardozo, RFT Ski & Dive Editor, 877-359-8474

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Yvette Cardozo, RFT Ski & Dive Editor

Yvette Cardozo from the Seattle, Washington area, likes to visit interesting places and learn about interesting cultures and, if a tasty local dish is involved, so much the better. She’s eaten everything from gourmet food at the world’s finest restaurants to native food in Asia, the arctic, and all kinds of places in between.Yvette recalls being in Antarctica and going out on the land with Inuit elders in arctic Canada , then bagging a caribou. They dragged it back to camp and ate it on the spot raw. She quips, “Hey, if you like steak tartare….”Yvette, who is a veteran skier and diver, is RFT’s Ski & Dive Editor.